DBS Altitude Card Review: Unveiling Changes and Impact on Travel Rewards

In this comprehensive review, we delve into the recent updates to the DBS Altitude Card and analyze the repercussions for travel enthusiasts. As of August 2023, the DBS Altitude Card has introduced altered earn rates for local and foreign currency spending, accompanied by significant modifications to its online flight and hotel booking rewards. Let’s delve into the nitty-gritty and assess the implications for avid travelers and points chasers.

Enhanced Earn Rates, Sacrificing Online Booking Perks

The revamped DBS Altitude Card has taken a bold stride by enhancing its earn rates. Local and foreign currency spending now accrues at 1.3 and 2.2 miles per dollar (mpd) respectively, surpassing the previous 1.2 and 2 mpd rates. However, the cost of this upgrade entails a setback – the once-lucrative 3 mpd reward for online flight and hotel bookings has been altogether eliminated. This change has been met with some disappointment, as it diminishes the card’s appeal for online booking enthusiasts.

Elevated Sign-Up Incentives

Despite the alterations, DBS has endeavored to sweeten the deal for new cardholders. The sign-up bonus has been elevated, offering up to 25,600 bonus miles for new applicants who fulfill a minimum spending requirement of S$2,000. This is a notable increase from the previous 21,000 miles. These added incentives, though welcomed, might not entirely offset the void left by the removal of the 3 mpd online booking rate.

Continued Changes in the Horizon

Interestingly, the DBS Altitude Card’s website hints at ongoing developments, suggesting that the current earn rates will be effective until January 31, 2024. This implies that further adjustments might be on the horizon from February 1, 2024. The ambiguity surrounding these forthcoming changes adds an element of uncertainty for potential and existing cardholders alike.

Comparison with Competing Travel Rewards Cards

In the context of travel rewards cards, the DBS Altitude Card’s enhanced earn rates place it ahead of the Citi PremierMiles and StanChart Journey cards, but still below the HSBC TravelOne Card and UOB PRVI Miles card. The updated local and foreign currency earn rates, though favorable, could be overshadowed by the elimination of the online booking rewards, particularly for those who frequently utilize this benefit.

Sign-Up Offers and Qualifying Spend

The DBS Altitude Card’s sign-up offers have been restructured, presenting opportunities for both new and existing customers to amass bonus miles. New cardholders can earn up to 25,600 bonus miles, provided they meet the S$2,000 minimum spending requirement within 30 days of approval. This spending should encompass local and foreign retail sales, excluding certain transaction types as specified in the terms and conditions.

Unlocking the Potential of DBS Points

DBS Points accumulated through the DBS Altitude Card offer flexibility and versatility. They can be converted to various frequent flyer programs, subject to a modest administrative fee. KrisFlyer and Asia Miles stand out as the most rewarding redemption options, with AirAsia BIG and Qantas Frequent Flyer having limited appeal for Singapore-based travelers.

Verdict: Navigating the Changes

The revamped DBS Altitude Card brings a mixed bag of improvements and setbacks. While the enhanced earn rates for local and foreign currency spending are commendable, the removal of the 3 mpd bonus for online flight and hotel bookings is a significant blow for loyal cardholders. The heightened sign-up incentives offer some consolation, but whether these enhancements outweigh the losses will largely depend on individual spending habits and travel preferences. As the card’s future changes remain shrouded in mystery, potential and existing cardholders are left in anticipation of what lies ahead.

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